This is a rough timeline for the 8th CVI for its first year. It is taken from several sources as noted. Many of the dates/times for the Battle of Antietam were taken from a timeline on the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers website. Others references are noted.
Sequence for 8th CVI Sep 1861 to Sep 1862
3 Aug 1861 General Order No. 49 is published by the War Department authorizing call up of additional troops from the states.Connecticutis tapped for over 13,000 additional soldiers.
16 Sep 1861 Oliver Cromwell Case of Simsbury enlists in Company B, 8th CVI.
27 Sep 1861 8th CVI organized at Camp Buckingham, Hartford with Colonel Edward Harland of Norwich as Commander. COL Harland had recently returned from a three months’ service as a Captain in the 3rd CVI.
1 Oct 1861 The Secretary of War Simon Cameron requests that Connecticut Governor William A. Buckingham send the two Connecticut regiments preparing for service to Camp Hempstead ,Long Island, with instructions to report to General Burnside for orders.
1 Oct 1861 Oliver C. Case is transferred to Company A, 8th CVI.
17 Oct 1861
4:00pm The 8th CVI is officially transferred to federal service and departsHartford bound for the Camp of Instruction onLong Island,NY (Jamaica). Unit strength is listed at 1,016.
1 Nov 1861 8th CVI moved toAnnapolis,MD.
10 Nov 1861 Oliver Case attends the evening service of an African-American church in Annapolis. He writes there was “much shouting and clapping of hands” and “such yelling and groaning as you never heard.” Although it was much different from the services he was accustomed to in his home church, he describes his attitude as “pleased” by the event. [Case Letters]
13 Dec 1861 8th CVI participates in a Brigade Review with 3 other regiments at Annapolis. [O.C. Case letter]
14 Dec 1861 8th CVI participates in a Division Inspection with 10 other regiments atAnnapolis. [O.C. Case letter]
Oliver Case receives a package from his brother with food, dishes and other items.
15 Dec 1861 Oliver writes a letter to his brother thanking him for the package. According to the letter, most of the food items are ruined, but Oliver and his friends managed to “feast” on the walnuts and chestnuts. Oliver includes two interesting rumors. First, COL Harland (his regimental commander) is attempting to have the 8th remain atAnnapolis throughout the winter. Also, there is a rumor “that the negroes have burntCharleston.” After this rumor, Oliver includes his one word commentary, “Good.” Interestingly, toward the end of the letter, his previously beautiful handwriting begins to waver which Case attributes to an unexplained trembling of his hand. [O.C. Case letter]
25 Dec 1861 Oliver is part of a group of soldiers invited to attend Christmas dinner with General Burnside aboard a ship. He is the only soldier invited from his unit. [Case Letters]
Early Jan 1862 8th CVI sails for the coast of North Carolina as part of Burnside’s North Carolina Expeditionary Force.
7 Feb 1862 8th CVI participates in Burnside’s landing atRoanoke Island,NC. In operations against the Confederate Forces, the regiment suffered no KIA or wounded because they were held in reserve during the entire battle.
8 Feb 1862 The regiment is assigned the duty of holding “the landing and bivouac grounds, and prevent the enemy from turning our position by coming through the timber down the beach.” The Regimental Surgeon, Surgeon Storrs, is assigned responsibility for preparing receiving areas for the wounded of the brigade. [Report of Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. John G. Parke, dated 9 Feb 1862; Report of Surgeon Church dated 12 Feb 1862]
Feb-Mar 1862 The 8th CVI is garrisoned with the remainder of Burnside’s forces onRoanoke Island.
13 March 1862 The regiment is part of Burnside’s offensive against Confederate forces atNew Bern,NC. Parke’s Brigade makes a slow landing at the mouth of Slocum’s Creek from small boats ferried by a tugboat. The brigade moves up the right bank of the Neuse River until they hit the entrenchments of the Confederate forces defendin gNew Bern. The entrenchments were abandoned, but the brigade continued its march until nightfall. General Parke reported that “roads generally were in bad order, and the men marched in many localities through water and mud. In addition, heavy showers fell at intervals during the day and night, and although the men had their overcoats and blankets the bivouac was extremely trying.” [Parke, 22 Mar 1862]
14 Mar 1862
Early morning At about 7:00 am, the brigade continues its advance towardNew Bernand is quickly engaged by Confederate forces in entrenchments. Colonel Rodman, of the Fourth Rhode Island, discovers an opening in the entrenchments by which the Confederates can be flanked. General Parke orders the brigade to attack the entrenchments and the Confederate are soon flanked and the center of the Confederate line is broken. [Reports of Harland and Parke, 22 Mar 1862]
General Parke reports that all the regiments “were under fire, and the officers seemed proud of the men they were leading and the men showed they had full confidence in their officers.” Two soldiers are killed in action and four are wounded.
The attack upon the defenses of Newbern (March 14th) was made at an early hour, and the Eighth assisted in the capture of about five hundred Confederate troops. This was the regiment’s first baptism of blood. Its killed were privates Phelps of Company B and Patterson of Company I, with four wounded. The personal bravery of Colonel Harland amid the whistling bullets at Newbern, together with his skill and cool-headedness as a tactician, and his evident desire to shield his men from harm whenever possible, gave them a confidence in him which was never afterward shaken. [Vaill]
The 8th was first in the battle in which they fought bravely…Gen Burnside came along up side of our Regt an[d] order[ed] us to charge on them in which we did in double quick time in which they fired upon us killing 8; wound[ed] several. It was a bold attempt but we won the victory driving the rebels in every direction. [Harrington]
19 Mar 1862 The 8th CVI and the 4thRhode Island leftNew Bern by steamer and traveled down the Neuse to Slocum’s Creek where they turned upstream to a landing point determined by General Burnside. [Report of Parke, 9 May 1862]
20 Mar 1862 The 8th and the 4th are joined by Brig. Gen. Parke and his staff. The brigade then marched for Carolina City. [Parke]
22 Mar 1862 The brigade reaches Carolina City.
23 Mar 1862 Brig. Gen. Parke demands the surrender of the Confederate garrison at Fort Macon across the Bogue Sound from Carolina City. The demand is refused and the brigade prepares “for besieging the place.” Additional material is moved to the area. [Parke]
23-29 Mar 1862 5 companies from the 8th CVI and 4th RI Regiment [unsure as to which companies] are detached from the Brigade at Carolina City and sent to Morehead City (2 companies – assumed to be from the 4th) and to Beaufort (3 companies – assumed to be from the 8th) in order to “seize all the boats and cut off all supplies for the garrison and stop all communication” with Fort Macon. The movement of the troops to Beaufort by boat is constantly under fire from the Confederates at Fort Macon. The force at Beaufort (assumed to be the 8th) established communications with the Union blockading fleet and the Confederate lines of communication with Fort Macon are severed. [Parke]
29 Mar 1862 Brig. Gen. Parke begins the movement of troops and material to effect the siege of Fort Macon. This movement continues until 10 April 1862 as only light draft boats are able to cross the sound. Seven companies of the 8th CVI are included in this force. [Parke]
12 Apr 1862 After some initial probing attacks by Parke’s Brigade, a permanent advance guard of five companies is organized and moves on the approaches to Fort Macon. According to Parke’s report “a skirmish occurred with the enemy, in which Captain Sheffield [of Company H] and a private of the Eighth Connecticut Regiment were wounded.” [Parke]
Between 12 Apr and 24 Apr 1862 During this period, the brigade continues to push toward Fort Macon. The Confederates attempt two counterattacks to break the siege of the forts.
The enemy made two ineffectual attempts at night to dislodge us from our advanced position, in one of which Lieutenant Landers and a private of the Fifth Rhode Island Battalion were slightly wounded, and in the other Major Appleman and a private of the Eighth Connecticut Regiment received severe contusions from a discharge of grape while digging rifle pits within 750 yards of the fort. [Parke]
The siege of Fort Macon terminated during the last week in April by the surrender of the Confederate garrison – forced to such decision by the bombardment of Union batteries, which were supported by the Eighth. During the greater portion of the siege, – Colonel Harland being prostrated by typhoid fever – the regiment was under command of Major Appelman, who received a painful though not dangerous wound from a canister shot. [Vaill]
20 Apr 1862 Some portion of the regiment is detailed to assist with the firing on Fort Macon and defense of the Union mortar batteries located on Bogues Bank. The scene is captured in an original painting owned by the University of North Carolina.
Late Apr to 1 July 1862 The regiment enjoyed a period of rest and refitting at New Bern. [Vaill]
2 Jul 1862 The 8th CVI is transported by rail to Morehead City,NC where they board the streamer “Admiral” and travel to Newport News,VA. The regiment spent the remaining days of July at Newport News. [Vaill]
1 Aug 1862 The 8th and the 11th CVI travel by transport to Aquia Creek and then by rail to Fredericksburg, VA where they are assigned picket duty. The 8th camped on the grounds of the famous Lacy House (aka Chatham Manor) across the river from the city. [Vaill] Previous guests of the Chatham Manor included George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who had visited for a meeting with Union General Irvin McDowell just four months prior to the arrival of the 8th.
Lacy House (Chatham Manor) – 1863
1 Sep 1862 Union forces to include the 8th CVI are ordered to evacuate Fredericksburg and return to Washington, DC. [Vaill]
3 Sep 1862 The 8th arrives at Washington, DC and makes camp on the grounds of the Capitol. [Vaill]
“The Mall” facing the Capitol during the Civil War
Sun 7 Sep Early AM 8th CVI departsWashington,DC. Once on the road, they are delayed until 1000. Roads were crowded with the wagon trains of the AOP and soldiers. The sun was very hot and the march route was covered with a dust cloud that was stifling. Marched 10 miles that day. Halted near “Leeboro” (likely Leesburg in Maryland) [Marsh]
Tue 9 Sep
Thu 11 Sep
1000 8th CVI passes through the village of Damascus (Maryland) where they take a rest halt. They move on to Ridgeville near Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Heavy rain began after nightfall and continued all night. [Marsh]
Fri 12 Sep Morning 8th CVI goes on the march again following along the B&O line for part of the march. Again this day, the wagons and soldiers created a significant impediment to movement along the muddy road. They take a rest halt in New Market before marching into the city ofFrederick. The Union soldiers are well received in the city. The regiment camped on the grounds of a hospital where there were bothUnion and Confederate patients being treated. CPT Marsh recounts being invited into aFrederick home for supper along with CPT Smith of Company E. [Marsh] Charles Buell (Company E) recorded that the soldiers were given wine and they had “hot tea and warm biscuit with butter.” [Buell]
Sat 13 Sep
Morning 8th CVI is cheered again by the citizens as they leave Frederick. The regiment deploys skirmishers as they prepared to cross Braddock mountain outside ofFrederick. They enteredMiddletown on the far side of the mountain. Although it appeared that they were close behind the enemy, there was no engagement. [Marsh; Buell]
Sun 14 Sep
Early Morning 8th CVI was awaken at daylight by the sounds of battle coming from South Mountain. The regiment ate a breakfast of “bushmeal” before moving out toward the sound of battle in the late morning. [Buell] The regiment moved up the mountain toward the battle and deployed into a line of battle. However, no engagement with the enemy occurred. Silence settled over the area at around 9:00 pm and the 8th slept in their battle positions. [Marsh]
Mon 15 Sep The regiment wakes early and moves to the top of the mountain where all of Rodman’s division forms a line of battle. There will be no more fighting here because the Confederates are gone. Dead Confederate soldiers lay where they fell among the rocks and trees. The regiment marches on and arrives in Keedysville around midnight where they rest. [Buell; Marsh] At some point during the march, Harland’s Brigade is joined by the new 16th CVI. The 16th is a green regiment recently raised in Hartford County, Connecticut with almost no drill training. [Marsh] It is assumed that Oliver Case was reunited with his two brothers, Ariel and Alonzo, who are members of the 16th. Harland’s Brigade continues the march to Boonsboro.
Tue 16 Sep The 8th continued to march toward the far side of the Antietam Creek opposite the town of Sharpsburg near the Rohrbach Bridge (aka Lower Bridge and later known as Burnside’s Bridge).
1:00 pm The regiment is placed into a line of battle behind a hill opposite the Rohrbach Bridge about 1:00pm. The wagon trains are shelled and 4 soldiers are killed. Near nightfall, the regiment settles into battle positions for the night on the hills opposite the Rohrbach (Burnside) Bridge. Captain Marsh described the night as “dark and misty.” The Union regiments were not allowed to light fires. However, the glow from the fires of the Confederate soldiers across the Antietamcould be clearly seen. All the officers and men seem to understand that tomorrow there will be a large battle. [Marsh; Buell]
Wed 17 Sep
Around 6:00 am The troops of the 8th are awaken and prepared immediately for battle. Just as daylight breaks, the Confederates begin to shell the units of the IX Corps including Rodman’s division and Harland’s brigade. Colonel Harland moves his brigade down Rohrbach lane to support a Union battery. The Confederates continue lobbing shells that are air burst artillery rounds as well as solid shot. Captain Marsh notes that there was no counterbattery fire from the IX Corps artillery units. Several soldiers of the 8th were killed or wounded during this bombardment including a member of Companies F and A and a Sergeant Marsh (unsure of unit). [Marsh, Buell]. According to Jacob Eaton, an officer in the 8th CVI, the soldiers panicked and scattered to avoid more incoming fire. Lt. Marvin Wait, Company A, 8th CVI helps to calm the men and reform the unit.
Being under fire on the morning of the l7th of September a ball from a rebel battery struck in the midst of his company killing three men and severely wounding another Lieutenant WAIT was covered with blood and earth. The shot produced some confusion in the company and several of the men commenced giving way. The brave fellow sprung to his feet amid a shower of bullets and ordered every man back to his post in the most gallant manner. [Eaton]
Around 7:00 am Harland moves his brigade to the left rear into a swale and then faces the brigade to the left.
About 7 o’clock, in accordance with an order received from General Rodman, I moved the brigade into a position to the rear and to the left of the one formerly occupied, facing to the left, the new line of battle forming nearly a right angle with the old one. In this position we remained between one and two hours. Our next movement was a change of front formed on first battalion. This brought the line of battle in a position parallel to the one occupied at first, the right resting about 200 yards in the rear of the first position to the left. [Harland]
Around 7:15 am A Confederate solid shot from artillery across the creek lands in the 8th CVI’s area killing three soldiers and wounding four in Company D. [8th CVI website]
Around 7:30 am Harland moves the 8th back to the front of his brigade.
Around 8:10 am Harland begins to extend his lines to the left by moving his brigade minus the 11th CVI detached to serve as skrimmers for the Rohrbach bridge assault.
Around 9:00 am The 8th CVI is relocated to a ravine further to the left of the line. This provides some protection from the shelling. [Marsh]
Around 10:00 am The 11th CVI is designated to act as skirmishers in the attempted capture of the Rohrbach Bridge. The mission ends quickly in disaster as the Georgia troops on the far side of the creek have clear shots at soldiers of the 11th. Captain Griswold leads his company of the 11th in an attempt to wade the creek just below the bridge. The captain and many of his men are shot down in the water. The regimental commander, Colonel Kingsbury is mortally wounded during the assault. About the same time or shortly thereafter, two companies of the 8th CVI are sent downstream to find a ford. [Sears’ book]
The remaining soldiers and officers of the 8th CVI watch the attempts to take the bridge by New York and Pennsylvania regiments. Captain Marsh calls it “the Grandest sight of my life.” [Marsh] It is believed that Marsh was watching the attempted assault by Crook’s brigade. Crook was unable to get his brigade beyond the fence along the Rohrbach Bridge road.
Around 11:30 am Rodman’s division was ordered to move left, downstream to cross at the ford supposedly identified the previous day by General McClellan’s engineers. Two companies of the 8th CVI are sent to find the ford. The ford identified by the engineers is not Snavely’s ford and is being defended by sharpshooters of the 50thGeorgia on the high banks of the far side of the creek. It took Rodman’s division two hours to locate and move to Snavely’s ford only two miles from the Rohrbach Bridge.
I then sent out two companies of skirmishers from the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers to discover, if possible, a ford by which the creek could be crossed. [Harland]
Around 12:30 pm The remainder of Harland’s Brigade is moved to Snavely’s Ford.
Around 1:00 pm The Georgia troops on the far side of the Antietam Creek pulled back from the creek as the other IX Corps units had successfully secured the Rohrbach Bridge almost simultaneously. Rodman’s division successfully crosses the Antietam at Snavely’s ford and moves up a ravine toward Sharpsburg. The 8th CVI is temporarily detached to provide protection for a Union battery on the far side of the creek.
General Rodman ordered me to detach one regiment for the support of the battery belonging to the Ninth New York Volunteers, and to send the remaining regiments of the brigade across the creek in rear of the First Brigade, and, when I had placed the regiment in proper position, to join the balance of the brigade. I found the battery on the hill just below the ford. I detached the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, placed it in what I considered the strongest position for the defense of the battery, and then crossed the ford. [Harland]
Around 2:00 pm The 8th rejoins Harland’s Brigade for the movement over the rolling hills toward Sharpsburg. Harland’s Brigade is ordered to the far left of Rodman’s Division.
While in this position the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers rejoined the brigade, and I moved still more to the right, in the direction of the bridge, and halted in the woods, just under the brow of the hill. From this point I was conducted by an aide of General Rodman, and placed in position in the rear of the First Brigade. [Harland]
Around 3:00 pm After the IX Corps units that crossed RohrbachBridgeare resupplied, all the units begin to climb the ridge leading to the Harper’s Ferry Road and Sharpsburg. Around this time, the 8th CVI executes a countermarch. The reason for this countermarch may have been to properly position the regiment in the brigade line of march as they began to climb the ridge.
As we ascended the precipitous ridge which skirts the Antietam on the south I saw and saluted Lieutenant WAIT. As the company to which he belonged was next to the one on the extreme left and my own next to the one on the extreme right flank we seldom saw each other on the march. But as the regiment was here countermarched we passed each other. This took place less than an hour before he was killed. [Eaton]
Around 4:00 pm General Rodman orders his division to advance toward Sharpsburg and the Confederate defenders. Fairchild’s Brigade begins to advance. Harland orders his brigade to advance, but only the 8th moves forward. For unknown reasons, the 16th CVI and the 4th Rhode Island do not advance. This places the 8th far in front of the brigade and unsupported by any other units.
4:05 pm Harland notices that the 16th and 4th are not moving. He requests guidance from Rodman as to halting the 8th. Rodman instructs him to let the 8th advance. Rodman assumes the mission of hurrying the other two regiments.
When the order was given by General Rodman to advance, the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, which was on the right of the line, started promptly. The Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, both of which regiments were in a cornfield, apparently did not hear my order. I therefore sent an aide-de-camp to order them forward. This delay on the left placed the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers considerably in the advance of’ the rest of the brigade. I asked General Rodman if I should halt the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and wait for the rest of the brigade to come up. He ordered me to advance the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, and he would hurry up the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers I advanced with the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and commenced firing. [Harland]
4:10 pm As the Colonel Harland continues to move forward with the 8th, he notices that the Confederates are now on his left flank. General Rodman has turned the 16th CVI to face left and exposed the flank to the Confederates.
Thus our slender line was exposed to a murderous fire on the front and on the flank. [Eaton]
It is believed that about this time, Lt. Wait is severely wounded as he is closing the rank and encouraging the soldiers to move forward.
Captain Hoyt of Co A said in a letter to the parents of the deceased Lieutenant MARVIN WAIT fell at his post while urging on his men into that terrible storm of shot and shell. He was a brave noble hearted man and highly esteemed by all who knew him. The unflinching hero was first wounded in the right arm which was shattered. He then dropped his sword to his left hand he was afterwards wounded in the left arm in the leg and in the abdomen. He was then assisted to leave the line by private King who soon met Mr Morris the brave indefatigable Chaplain of the Eighth Regiment. [Eaton]
4:15 pm Rodman realizes his mistake in not stopping the 8th, but is shot in the chest as he turn the 16th toward the Confederates. Men from the 8th bear his body to the rear. Colonel Harland has turned his horse to alert the 16th of the danger, but his horse is shot from under him.
The Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and the Fourth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers not coming up, I turned to see if they were advancing, and saw some infantry belonging to the enemy advancing upon our left flank. Knowing that if they were not checked it would be impossible to hold this part of the field, without waiting for orders, I put the Spurs to my horse to hasten the arrival of the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. My horse was almost immediately shot under me, which delayed my arrival. I found that the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers had changed their front, by order of General Rodman. The line was formed facing to the left, and was nearly a prolongation of the enemy’s lines, except that they faced in opposite directions. I immediately ordered Colonel Beach to change his front, so as to attack the enemy on the right flank. This change was effected, though with some difficulty, owing to the fact that the regiment had been in service but three weeks, and the impossibility of seeing but a small portion of the line at once. [Harland]
4:18 pm Although Harland continues toward the 16th on foot, he is unable to turn the “green” units in the confusion of battle and a cornfield. The 16th and the 4th break and run from the field.
4:20 pm The 8th CVI continues moving forward and to the right toward the crest of the hill held by Confederate infantry under Toombs. Toombs has moved McIntosh’s Battery to meet the advancing 8th and fires canister directly into the advancing regiment.
4:25 pm In spite of the hail of fire from the Confederate guns, the 8th continues to advance overrunning the guns.
4:30 pm Captain Upham and soldiers of Company K, 8th CVI capture McIntosh’s Battery, but only momentarily. The Confederates counterattack with renewed strength from the recently arrived troops of A.P. Hill’s division. The 8th loses the guns, but continues to fight.
4:35 pm Fairchild’s Brigade fighting to the right of the 8th is ordered to retire from the field. The 8th continues to fight, but is being flanked by the 7th and 37th North Carolina regiments. All the members of the 8th CVI’s Color Guard are killed in the fighting. The regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Appelman is seriously wounded and taken from the field. Major Ward assumes command.
It is believed that at this point in the battle Private Oliver Cromwell Case of Company A, 8th CVI is killed by a bullet that strikes him in the front of the head just above his ear line. His personal belongings may have been pilfered shortly afterward by the Confederates who retook this ground upon which the 8th fought so bravely. I believe Case’s bible was likely taken by a Confederate soldier who later traded it for food or other items to someone living in or around Sharpsburg. I believe that had the bible been on his person when his brothers found his body two days later, they would have kept it for the family. From there it somehow found its way to a yard sale in Germantown, Maryland in 1993. This is only a theory.
4:40 pm Realizing that his regiment is alone and being flanked, Major Ward orders the 8th to retire. It takes three attempts to get the soldiers of the 8th to abandon the fight. The regiment retires in good order.
5:00 pm The 8th finds shelter and rest in the swale near the Otto House.
6:00 pm Colonel Harland is able to gather the remnants of his brigade of the road west of the Rohrbach Bridge.
Friday 19 Sep 1862 Ariel and Alonzo Case of the 16th CVI are given permission to search for the body of their brother Oliver Case of Company A, 8th CVI. Alonzo believes that he was killed in action based on a conversation with an unknown friend of Oliver’s from the 8th. The friend saw him fall during the final assault, but Oliver did not respond when his friend called for him.
The Case brothers find Oliver on the battlefield shot through the head. He is buried near members of the 16th with a note containing identifying information pinned to the inside of his coat.
Dec 1862 Job Case travels to theAntietambattlefield to recover the remains of his son, Oliver Cromwell Case. He finds his son’s remains and has him return to Simsbury for burial in the central cemetery in the middle of town.
There are two gravestones for Oliver Case. One is located at the Antietam National Cemetery and another in Simsbury as noted above. Did Job Case actually remove the body of his son and not some other soldier? It is likely that he did have his son’s remains due to the identification left on his body and an accurate description of the grave location provided by his brothers. The remains at the national cemetery may well be those of another soldier or it could be an empty grave.